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Published 20 August 2013 09:48, Updated 21 August 2013 06:54
The Apple iPhone 5. Apple’s next generation of iPhones – one of which is potentially called the iPhone 5S – is expected to be unveiled soon. Photo: Reuters
Rumours surrounding the arrival of Apple’s next generation of iPhone appear to be solidifying, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that new high and low-end phones are just weeks away.
Citing “people familiar with the matter”, the newspaper reported that Taiwanese electronics component maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co has been asked by Apple to begin shipping the new models in early September.
The Journal’s tech blog All Things D has previously reported the launch is slated for September 10, in keeping with Apple’s habit of unveiling new phones in the northern autumn.
Other reports suggest that the new phones, one of which will potentially be called the iPhone 5S, will keep the existing 4-inch screen of the current iPhone 5.
The screen size puts Apple at odds with rivals like Samsung, which has gained rapid popularity with its large-screen Andriod-powered Galaxy smartphones – some of which, like the Galaxy Note, branch out into the emerging “phablet” (phone/tablet) market segment and feature even larger screens.
Any new product launch by Apple is now the subject of increasingly close scrutiny, as competitors like Samsung and HTC ramp up and concerns grow that the American company has lost its ability to innovate and create new markets following the death of founder Steve Jobs in 2011.
Those fears are probably being fuelled by the apparent death-spiral of the once-iconic smartphone maker BlackBerry, which in a few short years has gone from making the world’s must-have gadget to looking for a buyer or a partner to help stem its rapid decline.
Meanwhile, All Things D also reports that Apple has hired fitness consultant Jay Blahnik for an unspecified role, rumoured to be linked to the development of a new product line of wearable tech. Blahnik has previously been involved with the development of the Nike Fuel line of technology products.
Several technology companies, including Apple, Samsung and even Google, are rumoured to be developing watches with smartphone capabilities. The rivals are thought to be locked in a battle to be first in with the products in the new category in order to win early market share.